Atheist Who Blamed Faith for Sexual Abuse Forced to Resign for Sexual Messages
Noted philosopher of the mind Colin McGinn is resigning from the University of Miami:
Mr. McGinn . . . denies allegations that he behaved improperly. Those allegations were lodged by a female graduate student who has said that the professor sent her a series of sexually explicit e-mail and text messages, starting in the spring-2012 semester. . . Mr. McGinn wrote that he had been thinking about the student while masturbating.
McGinn, a wide-ranging but not terribly careful critic of religious belief, wrote in 2008 that sexual abuse in the Catholic church was “made possible” by “unquestioning obedience to the authority of the representatives of the church, i.e. priests.”
McGinn also has held up the idea of “atheist as ‘role-model’” which he calls a “revolutionary concept”:
[Atheists] make up in morality what they lack in belief; whereas believers have to do so much work to believe that they have no energy left over for morality. The depravity of the Catholic Church is a nice illustration.
Yet the abolition of the priesthood would not mean the end of clerisies, nor would it stop the abuse of authority. As Colin McGinn’s sad case reminds us, a world without faith is not a world without sin.